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ANIMOSITY LINGERS IN POSSIBLE SALE OF PIRATES
Published March 21, 1995
Reports last week of Pirate ownership taking offers from out-of-state buyers has further fueled "the acrimony" between the administration of Mayor Tom Murphy and team ownership. The animosity "isn't contrived," according to Ron Cook in this morning's PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, and "it could derail the sale" of the team to Adelphia Communications Chair John Rigas. Murphy, with Pirates Chair Vincent Sarni's approval, endorsed Rigas as the city's best potential buyer, but after months of negotiations, "there is still no sale." Cook writes that "the more [Murphy] tries to pressure the Pirates' board into a deal for Rigas, the more damage he might be doing." Now Murphy is afraid Rigas may walk away from the sale. Cook: "Could you blame Rigas? Who needs a baseball team that badly?" Members of the Pirates board claim that Rigas will not pull out, and that he "has a vision of the franchise's value skyrocketing" if the owners win the strike and a new stadium is built. Cook writes Sarni "appears to have the same vision, which is why he is so hesitant to do a deal with Rigas that could short-change the current owners" (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 3/21).